[Addendum: OWGR factoids: DJ moved up to #3, his highest-ever ranking; Woods fell to #205; were the British Open played today, Jordan would be able to catch Rory by winning and Rory finishing well back. Euro Sevener Branden Grace finished T-4, moved to #27. Rory got another one of his backdoor top tens to collect a respectable 14 points. Cameron Smith, 21-year-old Aussie, finished T-4 and moved from #167 to #89.]
New Day in Golf: This truly is a New Day in golf. The golf media will no longer be able to play the game of, “Joe Golfer just did an incredible thing, sure, but he’s certainly no Tiger Woods.” That was their way to make sure the discussion always revolved about Tiger Woods. But now there’s a guy who is not only far better then Woods in 2015, but he’s better than Woods was in any year. When Cole Hammer, say, joins the Tour in 2020, the golf media won’t be able to do their standard Woods schtick. At best it will be, “He’s playing great, but he’s no Jordan Spieth. He’s not even a Tiger Woods.” This truly is a game-changer. “First since” stats going back to Bobby Jones and Tom Morris? Get out of here!
Fly in the Golf Media Ointment: There are aspects to Jordan Spieth that inconveniently disrupt certain golf establishment narratives:
- He’s not a bomber off the tee. Think about it: If distance isn’t the be-all-end-all, do I really need to buy gear every time an equipment manufacturer comes out with a new “distance” ball or driver?
- He’s polite and respectful of opponents. He’s polite and respectful of everybody. Societal trends tend to swing from one extreme to the other. Is Jordan a sign of a societal behavioral shift away from juvenile in-your-face braggadocio and toward a refined civility? I think so. People have had their fill of the loudest and rudest in society being praised and presented as the norm. They aren’t the norm, and if you want to succeed in any endeavor you undertake, you’ll do better to imitate the Jordan Spieths of the world.
- He’s a… sorry to use such a dirty word… role model. I hope I didn’t offend you.
- For some reason, he doesn’t fit the “new athlete” meme. The golf media never placed him in that category, even though his brother played college basketball, showing he comes from a family of athletes. Kelly Tilghman not long ago told Jordan he lacked the physical stature of Tiger Woods — even though Spieth appears to be slightly larger!
Spieth on DJ: I knew Jordan would handle it perfectly, but his press conference comments about DJ were pretty close to perfect. Which reminds me, did anyone see the video of Hale Irwin after he beat Mike Donald. Hale, tearing up, felt badly for the man he beat in a 19-hole playoff and said he almost wished Donald had beaten him.
Go to the 21-minute mark of this video:
Chasing Ben: If Jordan were to win at St. Andrews, he would match Ben Hogan’s feat of winning the Masters, U.S. Open, and British Open in 1953. The British Open is going to be nuts. The great and knowledgeable British golf fans will welcome Spieth with open arms, even if they hearts lean toward Rory.
Oostie Screwstie: Tiger Woods does not need to be paired with legitimate contenders at majors. His traveling freak show is disruptive and unfair to his playing partners. I would not pair him with anyone inside the top fifty.
Made Me Pay: With all the excitement, I forgot until now that Lanny H Golf owes another $200 to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Should Jordan or Rory win a third major, add another $300. Should they win a fourth on top of a third, add another $400. Jordan and/or Rory… make me pay!!!